CARTI opens Little Rock surgical center

Clinic the 18th site in state for cancer treatment institute

Brianna Godoy, a preoperative registered nurse, talks about the features of the patient pre-op rooms during a grand-opening tour of the CARTI Surgery Center in Little Rock on Friday. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staci Vandagriff)

CARTI opened its new one-stop cancer care and surgical center in Little Rock during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning.

The 57,000-square-foot clinic at the CARTI campus in west Little Rock comes with eight private rooms, 12 recovery rooms, 14 preoperative and postoperative rooms, according to a news release, as well as six large operating rooms equipped with minimally invasive surgical robots.

“As CARTI has grown into 18 locations across the state, the focus has never wavered to be where patients are and providing what they need,” Terry Vick, chairman of CARTI’s board of directors, said at Friday’s ceremony. “The CARTI Cancer Surgery Center is the next step and signifies a new era in our fight against cancer.”

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders attended Friday’s ceremony. She spoke about her mother’s journey with spinal cancer and how CARTI — then called Radiology Associates of Arkansas — was able to help with her recovery.

Sanders, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2022, also credited CARTI’s doctors and surgical facilities with helping her become cancer free.

“I’m eternally grateful for the unbelievable work that takes place at the hands of CARTI,” Sanders said. “The dedication of the nurses, the doctors and the administrative staff — I know first hand what it will mean for people all across our state. This is a beacon of hope for so many people and so many families.”

U.S Rep. French Hill, a Republican from Little Rock, said the surgery center is another milestone in the state’s battle against cancer and a step to providing quick, expansive care to cancer patients in Arkansas and the nation.

“For five decades, CARTI has led the way with caring cancer treatment here in our state,” Hill said. “This new, 57,000 square feet of a surgery center will be a tremendous addition.”

CARTI Chief Medical Officer Dr. Scott Stern detailed the advanced technology and amenities inside of the new clinic, which has been in the works since the summer of 2021.

Stern said he drew on inspiration from New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center when planning the CARTI surgery center’s calming rehabilitation experience for patients.

“Every detail of the building you see behind you, from the natural lighting and our operating rooms to the calming recovery spaces and inspiration garden, was designed and built with their comfort and healing in mind,” Stern said. “The CARTI surgery center is a game changer for the surgical patient experience.”

Stern also referred to the technology in the new surgical center and how it will aid the clinic’s doctors in performing delicate operations with the help of surgical robots.

“Robotic surgery will lead to significant benefits,” Stern said. “[It will] improve safety, reduce risks, lessen pain and have a faster pathway to recovery — just to name a few. It’s an opportunity for us to improve the quality of life for our patients and for all Arkansans during their cancer journey.”

Adam Head, the CEO and president of CARTI, wrapped up the conference calling the facility a beacon of hope for those who have cancer.

“We know there are going to be some hopeful moments that are going to be shared, and there will, at times, be some tears,” he said. “There’ll be some moments of celebration, and we’ve seen many over the last several years.”

With the new clinic in Little Rock, Head said he hopes to continue to pave the way for more accessible and quick cancer treatments.

“Our continued existence as an organization and our heartbeat is to meet each patient, each family at the intersection — as we like to say — of some of life’s most celebratory moments and some of life’s most difficult moments.”

This story has been updated. It was originally published at 4:06 p.m. under the headline "CARTI opens new cancer surgery and treatment center in Little Rock."

  photo  Adam Head, CEO and president of CARTI, speaks during the grand opening ceremony of the CARTI Cancer Surgery Center on Friday in Little Rock. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staci Vandagriff)
  photo  Katie Stewart, a registered nurse, talks about the post-anesthesia care unit during a grand opening tour of the CARTI Surgery Center in Little Rock on Friday, June 9, 2023. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staci Vandagriff)
  photo  The view through the Toshiba CT Scanner in the new CARTI Cancer Surgery Center in Little Rock is seen Friday, June 9, 2023. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staci Vandagriff)